Today, the internet offers you so many recipes for making your own hand sanitizer at home. It is essential now due to the global spread of coronavirus. The WHO has declared it a pandemic, which has created panic among the users. So, many of them have stocked the product. It has resulted in the limited supply of the alcohol-based hand rub. While handwashing is an effective method to clean your hands and get rid of all the harmful pathogens, hand rubs offer instant elimination of such disease-causing germs. After the WHO declared coronavirus infection as a pandemic, several stores have reported a shortage of hand rubs. So, making your own hand rub seems like a good option. But, before you start following the recipe to make the product, you need to know some important points. Read ahead to know more about it.
Need For Making Your Own Hand Sanitizer At Home
Coronavirus infection has resulted in the death of more than four million people around the world. To prevent the infection from spreading and affecting your life, you need to maintain social distancing, frequent hand washing, and necessary respiratory hygiene. Nothing is more effective than the old-fashioned hand washing using soap and water to protect yourself and your loved ones from deadly infections. But, there is no guarantee that you will have access to soap and water. In such cases, your next best option is to use hand rub. By opting for alcohol-based (at least 60%) hand rubs, you can get rid of such harmful pathogens from your hands.
But, the demand for alcohol-based hand rub has increased exponentially due to the fear of COVID-19. It has led to the potential shortage of hand rubs in the stores. Unless you have stockpiled the store-bought hand rubs, you find it difficult to get the best product to protect you and your family. Many retailers have a hard time satisfying the demands with limited supply. So, what is your next option? Many portals offer you information on how to make your own hand sanitizer at home. While it has only a few ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, you need to know the risks, safety guidelines, and the official recommendations to get an effective product.
Benefits Of Hand Sanitizer
Instead of washing their hands with hands and soap, people find it convenient to use the hand rub. Here are the benefits of using the product:
- Hand rubs are most convenient for people to keep their hands germ-free. Unlike washing your hands, using the hand rubs is easy and does not consume more time.
- You can take the hand rub with you to any place as your wish. It comes in travel-friendly bottles. With easy access, it can keep your hands free from pathogens anywhere anytime.
- Studies indicate the effectiveness of avoiding the respiratory infection and spreading of gastrointestinal problems in people who use the hand rub.
- When you use commercially prepared hand rubs, it contains ingredients to keep your hands safe. It also reduces skin dryness and irritation compared to washing hand-washing.
- It is easy to take the product to the classroom. So, keeping the hands of the students germs-free is possible, which reduces students’ absenteeism caused due to illness (by 20%). Kids use the product as they feel hand rub is fun to use.
Drawbacks Of Using Hand Sanitizers
But, using hand rub is not all beneficial. It has the following drawbacks:
- Commercial hand rubs are not created equally. You need to check the label on the bottle for the active ingredients. You must find alcohol content in the product in the form of isopropanol, ethanol, or ethyl alcohol. These are acceptable forms of alcohol. The concentration listed on the bottle (irrespective of the type of alcohol) must range from 60% to 95%. The alcohol content below 60% is not effective in killing the germs and keeping your hands safe.
- You cannot use the product to clean dirt and grime. It is because alcohol does not cut through the grime. You have to wash away the soil, dirt, or blood from your hands first and then use the hand rub for effective results. In such cases, it is advised to wash your hands with soap and water for better protection.
- Hand rubs are not effective cleaning agents. So, you cannot replace the product for soap and water. It only acts as a complementary habit. The hand rubs offer effective protection from germs when you use it in conjunction with diligent hand washing.
Steps To Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer
While the use of hand rubs cannot replace hand washing, it is the habit that will keep the germs away. So, you are exposed to fewer germs and reduce the chance of any infection or other illness. You can use it while playing on the ground or use products from other people (like a computer or laptop) or visit friends at the hospital. Just rub it on your hands and keep yourself healthy. But, the reduced supply of commercial hand rubs has resulted in people searching for a recipe to make the product at home. Here are the steps you need to follow to make your own hand sanitizer:
Ingredients Needed To Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer
Making your own hand sanitizer has only a few steps. But, you need the assistance of a professional to ensure everything goes smoothly. It has only a few ingredients like:
- Rubbing or isopropyl alcohol (or Witch Hazel) with 99% alcohol volume
- Aloe Vera gel
- Essential oil (like lavender, tea tree or others) or lemon juice
Proportion Of Ingredients To Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer
To make the product effective, you need to give attention to its proportion. For a germ-busting effect, the product must have a 2:1 proportion of alcohol to the Aloe Vera gel. The right proportion helps manage the content by around 60%. It is the minimum alcohol content required to kill most of the germs and harmful pathogens. So, an effective hand rub formula consists of the following:
- Two parts of ethanol or isopropyl alcohol (91 to 99%)
- One part Aloe Vera gel
- Few drops of essential oil (tea tree, clove, peppermint, eucalyptus, or others)
Procedure For Making Your Own Hand Sanitizer
Now, follow the steps suggested below for making the hand sanitizer at home:
- For preparing the hand rub, you need to add two to three tablespoons of Aloe Vera into a bowl. In the same bowl, you need to add a few drops of witch hazel or alcohol.
- Next, mix the essential oil as per your choice. For better results, try to add essential oil with antibacterial properties. So, you can use tea tree oil, which has mild effects. It also fights bacterial spread.
- Mix the mixture nicely to ensure all ingredients blend well. Once you mix it, transfer it to a bottle you want to use. The DIY hand rub is ready for your use.
- The last step is to mix the distilled water (filtered water) in the mixture to create a spray solution.
Tips You Need To Follow While Making Your Own Hand Sanitizer
When you are trying to make the hand rub at home, you need to adhere to the following tips suggested the WHO:
- You need to make your own hand sanitizer in a clean space. So, before starting, wipe down the countertops using a diluted bleach solution.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before making the product.
- To mix, use a clean spoon and whisk. Wash these items thoroughly before using them.
- You have to make sure the alcohol you use for making the product is not diluted.
- Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and ensure they are well blended.
- Refrain from touching the final mixture with your hands until it is ready to use.
- Mix all the ingredients thoroughly until they blend well.
Larger Scale Production Of Your Own Hand Sanitizer
If you wish to make a larger batch of your own hand sanitizer, then you need to follow the guidelines offered by the WHO. So, you need the following to ensure it adheres to the approved formula:
- Ethanol or isopropyl alcohol
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Boiled cool water or sterile distilled water
It is essential to have a professional to guide you with the process. You need to possess the necessary tools and high-quality raw materials for making an effective product. It is also essential to check the alcohol concentration of the final product for ensuring it offers the desired protection.
Benefits Of Using Your Own Hand Sanitizer
Like the commercial product, the hand rub you make at home can offer you easy access. So, you can kill germs efficiently using the hand rub with ease. Apart from that, the product also offers the following benefits:
- When you successfully make your own hand sanitizer, it not just kills the pathogens. It also offers greater benefits by boosting your immunity. So, the natural product improves your health.
- Adding essential oils like tea tree oil is beneficial as it kills harmful bacteria and germs like fungi.
- Using witch hazel in the product can avoid the harmful effects of alcohol on your skin. It contains the essential percentage of alcohol to keep your hands free from germs.
- The use of Aloe Vera nourishes and hydrates your skin without causing any dryness.
- You can also choose to include beneficial ingredients like Vitamin E to offer added benefits to your skin. It also increases the shelf life of the product.
Risks And Safety Associated With Your Own Hand Sanitizer
Making your own hand sanitizer may sound like an easy and interesting task, but it is not the case. Most people feel the need to make their own hand rub due to the unavailability of the product at the stores. But, it has several safety risks. Here are the risks you need to know before getting on with the task:
- The homemade product may not contain the recommended concentration of alcohol (60% and more) compared to the commercial products. So, it is ineffective in killing all the pathogens causing diseases or infection, including coronavirus infection.
- The product you make at home only reduces the growth of the germs, but may not successfully kill them. So, you are at risk of the problems caused by the pathogens.
- Making the hand rub at home is not recommended as you cannot follow the guidelines suggested by the WHO. It is also not possible as you may not have the appropriate tools or ingredients recommended by the WHO.
- Without using the right ingredients at the suggested quantity, the final product may not have high efficiency in killing the germs and other pathogens.
- The use of rubbing alcohol in the product may cause more harm than good. The concentration of the chemical in the product will dry your skin with repeated use. It strips the necessary oils in your skin and causes irritation as well as inflammation.
- For effective results against viruses like SARS-CoV-2, you need to ensure the correct concentration of ingredients. Commercial products ensure it as they have professionals and the necessary tools to ensure safety. Commercial products are also checked for allergies using the contact time, which suggests the time duration the product stays on the skin for maximum benefits. But, at home, you cannot follow the instructions carefully. It will only result in getting a mediocre product that causes only harm.
Is It Safe To Use Your Own Hand Sanitizer?
You can see the recipe for do-it-yourself hand sanitizer on several portals. But, are they safe or effective? It is a normal concern you may have. Remember, all the recipes, including the one provided above, can only offer effective results when you get high-quality resources at the right measurement. It is important to have a professional to oversee the making to ensure safety. A slight mistake in measurement or making techniques can lead to disastrous results. It is recommended to make the product only in extreme situations. So, with professional assistance, you can make the product when it becomes difficult to wash your hands for foreseeable future.
You need to maintain caution while making the product at home. Improper proportions or the use of inferior materials can lead to severe issues. Without the right concentration, you can end up with a product that is too harsh on your skin or does not kill germs effectively. So, it is only a waste of ingredients. So, making the product at home is not as easy as it sounds. Without professional assistance, your product can cause harm.
Accidental Exposure To Harmful Chemicals
Without expert assistance, if you try to make the product at home, then it increases the risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals. It usually occurs when you accidentally inhale the chemicals.
Use Of Inferior Raw Materials
Certain guidelines exist for making hand rubs with effective results. All the brands offering you such products at stores follow the guidelines suggested by the WHO and the health agency of the country. These products are developed based on the needs of the consumer. So, the product specifically for medical professionals as well as ordinary people based on the level of exposure to such pathogens. When you are making the product, it must have high-quality raw materials like isopropyl alcohol or denatured alcohol, glycerol (also referred to as glycerin), sterile water, and hydrogen peroxide. It is important to measure the final product with an alcoholometer for ensuring the right concentration. Only with actual concentration can you ensure the effective killing of germs and safety. Without proper concentration or quality, the product may not eliminate some or all microbes.
According to the guidelines accepted around the world, it is important for the manufactures to follow certain guidelines while making the hand rub. They are:
- The product must contain only pharmacy-grade ingredients
- It is important to test the actual alcohol level in the final product
- The manufacturer must ensure the final product contains the label with all information
- The addition of inactive ingredients (like essential oils or aloe vera gel) affects the potency as well as the potency of the product.
So, the recommended recipe for the hand rub does not include essential oils, dyes, or any other fragrances. It is because such ingredients can result in an allergic response. Unfortunately, most of the do-it-yourself recipes have essential oils. It is used to mask the strong odor of alcohol. But, the use of such products can cause skin irritation, burns, or skin injuries.
Harmful For Skin
When you try the DIY method to make a hand rub, the products you use can cause skin problems. Even when you make such products for personal use, the methods used or the inconsistency of quality and quantity of the products can cause skin irritation or other issues to your skin.
Unless you can follow the instructions outline by the WHO, making your own hand sanitizer just isn’t smart for your own safety. Homemade hand sanitizer is also not recommended for children. Children may be more prone to improper hand sanitizer usage, which could lead to a greater risk of injury.
Effective Elimination Of Pathogens Using Your Own Hand Sanitizer
If you are making alcohol-based hand rub, then it can effectively reduce the number of microbes on your hands. With your own hand sanitizer, you can eliminate the risk of a wide range of disease-causing pathogens or agents. It can also kill the new coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV-2. But, even the best alcohol-based hand rubs have limitations. So, it has a limited ability to kill all types of pathogens. According to scientists, these products may not eliminate harmful pollutants or chemicals from your hands. So, you need to wash your hands to get rid of such chemicals. Apart from that, hand rubs may not effectively kill the following pathogens or germs:
- Cryptosporidium (the parasite causing cryptosporidiosis)
- C. diff (Clostridium difficile)
Also, a hand sanitizer may not work well if your hands are visibly dirty or greasy. This may happen after working with food, doing yard work, gardening, or playing a sport.
If your hands look dirty or slimy, opt for handwashing instead of a hand sanitizer.
Handwashing Vs Using Own Hand Sanitizer
While using your own hand sanitizer is a handy option to prevent the spread of germs or other pathogens from your hand to other surfaces, it is not as effective as hand washing. Remember, using a hand rub is ideal when you have no access to soap and water. So, use the alcohol-based product when your washing hands is not possible. It keeps you safe and drastically reduces the spread of pathogens causing diseases like COVID-19. Before going into the difference between washing your hands and using hand rub, you need to know when to use the product. It is essential to keep your hand clean after the following situations:
- After going to the bathroom
- Before eating your food
- After coughing/blowing your nose/sneezing
- After you touch surfaces that have a high risk of contamination
How To Use Your Own Hand Sanitizer Properly?
You can use your own hand sanitizer when you have no water and soap available. So, using the hand rub can offer effective protection against harmful germs and bacteria. But, you need to follow the proper application procedure to ensure the product cleanses your hands and keeps it free from microorganisms. For the product to complete its job effectively, you need to use the right technique.
- You need to make sure all the organic matters like grease or dirt is removed from the surface of your hands.
- Take a dime-sized amount of the hand rub on the palm of one hand.
- Rub your hands and cover all the surfaces. You must not leave any surface of both hands. So, rub the product up around the nails as well as fingertips and between the fingers. Rub at least for thirty seconds to ensure the product is absorbed by the surface. Allow it to dry before touching any food or surface. You can touch the surface after your hands are dry.
- You need to follow the proper technique to apply the hand rub to ensure it works effectively. With proper application, the product goes to work immediately. It kills 99.9% of harmful microorganisms on the surface of the hands. So, you can use hand rub during busy times or when soap and water are not available. Never slack when it comes to using your own hand sanitizer properly. You can achieve the desired results within no time. It takes less than getting your mail or order a pizza to apply the product properly. You can get on with your usual routine without the fear of getting coronavirus infection. Use proper technique to keep the hands free from germs.
How To Wash Hands Properly?
Unfortunately, hand rub is not an effective solution when your hands are dirty. To remove the dirt and grime from the hands, you need to wash it with soap and water. Handwashing is the best method to prevent coronavirus infection. So, never substitute handwashing with hand rub. Always use the right technique to ensure better protection from germs. Here are the steps you need to follow to ensure your hands are free from harmful pathogens:
- For washing your hands properly, you need to make sure the water is clean. You can use running water. Choose warm or cold water as per your preference.
- First, wet your hands and turn off the running water.
- Take the soap and lather the hands well with it.
- You need to rub your hands together with the soap lather for at least twenty seconds.
- Rub your palm, the area between the fingers, back of your hands, and under the nails properly.
- Turn on the water and rinse the lather off from your hands.
- Wipe your hands with a clean towel or tissue. You can also air-dry your hands.
Try to wash your hands instead of using hand rub as it offers you better protection. With the world the biggest crisis in the form of coronavirus infection, you need to follow all the guidelines offered by the WHO (World Health Organization) for keeping yourself safe.
With coronavirus pandemic gripping the world, the need for antiseptic hand rub is increasing. With the lockdown, it has become difficult to find a good one at the local stores. In such cases, you can make your own hand sanitizer at home by following a few steps. With a few ingredients, you can get an effective one that can offer protection to an extent. But, such hand rubs are not an effective alternative to washing your hands. Proper handwashing techniques can only help get rid of germs. So, handwashing is essential whenever possible to keep your hands clean from disease-causing germs or viruses. Stay at home and break the chain to avoid deadly infections. Follow the directions offered by the local health authorities and the government to keep yourself and your family safe from infections.
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